We’re expecting! Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is thrilled to ring in the New Year by sharing that Bornean orangutan, Dee Dee is expecting a baby.
New Year, New Zoo Baby
TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 29, 2017) – We’re expecting! Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is thrilled to ring in the New Year by sharing that Bornean orangutan, Dee Dee is expecting a baby. The new addition is expected to arrive in late January. Dee Dee is quite the experienced mother, already giving birth four times successfully, this will be father, Goyang’s third baby at the Zoo. In October, a human pregnancy test confirmed that Dee Dee was pregnant, however, the veterinary staff remained cautious until there was a clear ultrasound showing development of the fetus. The Zoo’s animal care team and veterinary staff have worked closely with Dee Dee to voluntarily participate during ultrasounds. The hard work paid off and yesterday, the Zoo shared the first clear ultrasound; it will continue to provide updates on Dee Dee through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We are optimistic for a smooth delivery, but with any animal pregnancy there are certain risks and different outcomes. Dee Dee’s health will be monitored with weekly ultrasounds to examine the growth of the fetus,” said Dr. Ray Ball, VP of Medical Sciences at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “In addition to the Zoo’s skilled veterinary team, we’ve assembled an amazing standby team of doctors and specialists from Tampa General Hospital, to collaborate with for a successful birth.”
The Zoo is currently home to a group of seven endangered orangutans and participates in the Bornean Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). The program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) protects wildlife species at risk of extinction. The baby will be the tenth Bornean orangutan born at the Zoo. There are fewer than 100 Bornean orangutans in 24 AZA-accredited institutions in North America.
“We are thrilled to announce Dee Dee’s pregnancy. This is an important birth for the entire critically endangered Bornean orangutan population,” said Chris Massaro, General Curator at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “We do remain cautiously optimistic, but feel it’s important to have the community along for this journey. By sharing Dee Dee’s experience, we are creating an intimate connection to her that we hope will leave a lasting impact. We encourage guests to become advocates for this incredible species and learn about the perils they face in the wild.”
Native to Malaysia and Indonesia, the longhaired red great apes can be found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The species is considered endangered in the wild due to critical habitat loss, increased use of palm oil, poaching and pet trade. The population declined more than 50 percent during the last 60 years.